Course Description

Course Name

Philosophy and Integrated Thought of the Classic World

Session: VSJU1722

Hours & Credits


Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


(48 class contact hours)

This course is an overview of the history and selected concepts in major eastern and western philosophical movements and systems from ancient to the middle age periods. Students will reflect on certain topics such as mind-body, Concept of God, knowledge of self and others, predestination and free will, cause and effect and other fundamental ideas in classical knowledge.

? Students will become acquainted with some of the major names and movements in the history of philosophy.
? Explore philosophical concepts common to several philosophical systems
? Develop a reflexive and questioning attitude towards many issues pertinent to human needs.

? There are no course pre-requisites for this class
(1) A general understanding of the initial history of philosophy: general introductory information.
(2) Comparative views from Occidental, Oriental and Egyptian ethics.
(3) Reflection on moral, epistemological and humanistic ideals
(4) Identity and development of spirituality and culture through philosophy


I. Ancient Philosophy : from Myth to Logos
A. Presocratic philosophy:
1. Milesian school
Thales of Miletus (c. 624-547 BC) ;Anaximander (610-546BC)
Anaximenes of Miletus (585-525 BC)
2. Pythagorean School
Pythagoras (582-496 BC) ; Alcmaeon of Croton ; Archytas (428-347 BC)
3. Heraclitus (535-475 BC)
4. Eleatic School
Xenophanes (570-470 BC) ;Parmenides (510-440 BC);
Zeno of Elea (490-430 BC); Philolaus (480-405 BC)
Melissus of Samos (C.470 BC-Unknown)
5. Pluralist School
Empedocles (490-430 BC); Anaxagoras (500-428 BC)
6. Atomist School of Pluralists
Leucippus (5th century BC, dates unknown); Democritus (460-370 BC)
B. Eastern Philosophy:
1. Hindu philosophy: the six main schools of thought
Samkhya, Vaisheshika, Nyaya, Yoga, Purva Mimamsa, Uttara Mimamsa
2. Vedanta, Mahabharata, Baghavad Gita
3. Caste system, mantras
4. Zoarasterism: The Avesta
C. Bases of Egyptian Mythology:
1. Cosmogony myths
2. Theological symbolism
3. Concepts

II. Classical Period:
A. Socrates:
1. "Know thyself"
2. Majeutics
B. Plato:
1. Introduction to topics on Ethics and Socio-politics
2. Personality
3. Timaeus
a. Cosmology
4. The Republic:
a. individual, society and State
b. Government systems and leadership
c. Myth of the Cavern
5. Plato´s concept of Love: The Banquet
C. Aristotle
1. Logics: Organon
2. 4 grades of knowledge
3. Nicomachean ethics
4. Metaphysics: Aristotelian view of God
D. Eastern Philosophy:
1. Buddhism: Sidharta Gautama and the path of enlightenment
a. Chan/Zen
2. Taoism:
a. Lao-tzu (604?-531?)/Zhuanqzi
b. Daodying (Tao te king)
3. Confucianism:
a. Kong Qiu-zi (Confucius)
b. The Great Harmony: Li Order, Ju
c. Analects: Ethics

III. Hellenic Period (320 BC to aprox. 100 AD):
A. Stoic School: (some representations)
1. Zeno of Citium
2. Seneca the Younger
3. Marcus Aurelius
4. Epictetus
B. Philosophy of History:
1. Mythology and History: The Hero concept
2. Herodotus
3. Historical Methods
IV. Middle Ages (395 ac to aprox. 1500 ac):
A. Rome?s decline
B. Neo-Platonism
1. Plotinus
C. Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
D. Scholastic School: Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274)
Eastern Philosophy
E. Japan and the origins of Bushido : The Kojiki, The Shoku

This course is structured for International Students attending the Study Abroad program at Universidad Veritas; however, since courses are not exclusive to foreigners, so a few native students could enroll in this course.

This course is theoretical and practical at the same time. Participation consists of a combination of lectures, group discussions and video forums. Students will be expected to participate actively and in compliance with assignments. Students must become completely familiarized with the course web site in order to check for assignments, questionnaires, midterm and final exam test. Generally, it will be necessary to read some articles, chapters from books or even watch a movie as homework assignment.

Class 1: Introduction and concepts of Ethics and Moral (Homework#1: Pre-Socratic philosophers)
Class 2: General concepts of classic philosophy (God, Universe, Humans)
Class 3: Pre-Socratic philosophy
Class 4: Eastern philosophy in India
Class 5: Zoroasterism (Homework#2: Mithraism)
Class 6 : Movie ?The Legend of Bagger Vance?
Class 7: Buddhism
Class 8: Movie ?Peaceful Warriors?
Class 9: Confucianism
Class 10: History of Egypt
Class 11: Egyptian philosophy
Class 12 : Exam#1
Class 13: Introduction to the Greeks and Socrates
Class 14: Plato?s ?The Republic? #1
Class 15: Plato?s ?The Republic? #2
Class 16: Plato?s ?The Symposium?
Class 17: Movie ?What the bleep do we know?
Class 18: Introduction to the Romans
Class 19: Stoic Philosophy (Homework#3: ?The brevity of life?)
Class 20: Mythology and the Heroes? Myth
Class 21: Neo-Platonism
Class 22: Middle Age philosophy and Japan?s Bushido
Class 23: Movie ?The last Samurai?
Class 24: Exam#2
Class 25: Round table of course topics

Participation* ???........................................................................ 15%
Reflexive Questionnaires ???????????????????????????.??.?.. 15%
Written Exam #1????????????????????................................... 35%
Written Exam #2 ?.................................................................. ......35%
*Attendance policy: You can only have two total absences in your elective courses HOWEVER, if you miss more than one day of class in a given month, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT for that particular course

The professor has the right to expel a student from the classroom should he / she:
1) be disruptive in the classroom or comes late
2) be under the influence of alcohol or even smell like alcohol
3) Behave in a disrespectful way.
If you tend to be late for class, you will lose 25% of your total grade.
Electronic devices:
The use of cell phones, smart phones, or other mobile communication devices is disruptive, and is therefore prohibited during class. Please turn all devices OFF and put them away when class begins. Devices may be used ONLY when the professor assigns a specific activity and allows the use of devices for internet search or recording. Those who fail to comply with the rule must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.

Anonimus Bhagavad Gita. Eknath Easwaran (translator) 2004
The Upanishads Valerie Roebuck (translator) 2004
Dhammapada: A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic with Annotations. Gil Fronsdal (translator), 2005
Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics D.P. Chase (translator), U.S.A.:Dover Publications, 1998
__. Metaphysics. Hugh Lawson-Tancred (translator) 1999
Anglin, WS. Lambek, J. The heritage of Thales, New York: Springer-Verlag, 1995
Aurelius, Marcus Meditations Maxwell Staniforth (translator) Dover Thrift Editions: 2005
Barnes, Jonathan. The Presocratic Philosophers, London: Routledge, 1982
Brown, Peter R. Augustine of Hippo: A Biography. 2000
Cooper, John M. Reason and Emotion. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999
E. Bruce Brooks The original Analects: sayings of Confucius and his successors , 1998
Fowler, Jeaneane. Hinduism: Perspectives of Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Hinduism. 2002
Griffis, Wiliam E. The Kojiki and its Teachings. 2005.
Hershock, Peter Chan Buddhism. 2004
Iamblichus On the Pythagorean Way of Life, Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1991
Inwood, Brad (editor) The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics. 2003
Kahn, CH. Anaximander and the origins of Greek cosmology, Indianapolis: Hackett
Publishing Company, 1994
Kingsley Peter Acient Philosophy, Mystery and Magic: Empedocles and Pythagorean
Tradition, U.S.A.: Oxford University Press, 1997
Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching. Gis-Fu Feng (tranlator)
Long, A.A Hellenistic Philosophy: Stoics, Epicureans, Sceptics
___. Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic Guide to life. 2004
Pike, Albert Preservation and Discovery of the Zend Avesta. 2005
Plato Complete Works of Plato. John M. Cooper (Editor)
The Republic. (Jowett translation). USA: Dover Publications, 2000
Reader Ronald B. Levinson (editor)
Metaphysics and Epistemology. 2000
Plotinus The Essential Plotinus: Representative Treatises from the Enneads. Elmer O´Brien (translator): 1975
___. The Essential Plotinus: Representative Treatise from the Enneads. 2ed.
Hackett Pub.: 1975
Putnam, James; Pemberton Jeremy Amazing facts about Ancient Egypt. Abrams Publisher, 1994
Silverman, Allan. The Dialectic of Essence: A Study of Plato´s Metaphysics. Princeton University Press, 2000.
St. Augustine of Hippo Confessions. Maria Boulding (translator) 1998
Suzuki, Daisetz T. Introduction to Zen Buddhism. Grove Widenfeld, 1991
Thomas Aquinas. Shorter Summa: The Most Essential Philosophical Passages of St. Thomas
Aquina? Summa Theologica. Peter Kreeft (Editor) 1993
Aquinas Selected Philosophical Writings. Timothy McDermott (translator) 1998.
Thom, Johan Carl Pythagorean Golden verses: with introduction and commentary, 1994
White, Nicholas P. Plato on Knowledge and Reality, Hackett, 1976
Vander Waerdt, Paul. The Socratic Movement. Cornell University Press, 1994
*Books can be found on the university library

*Course content subject to change